I resist the 'what is it now!' message that bubbles up through my brain. I try very hard to replace it with 'humble gratefulness for the power of speech.'
I am irritable. [translation = more than my ambient state of grumpy] He stands four feet below me, semi clad clutching the toilet plunger. “What I am?” he demands. What realm of existentialism are we branching off into? I peer at him through wonky bifocals as I teeter on the top of the ladder.
“Er you're a boy dear.” I shove one box to the back of the cupboard and pull out the next one.
“No! What I am?” Saints preserve us! What is he on about now? I shove my glasses up my nose, as when you are close to the ceiling in California, the temperature is nearer 100 than an ambient 90 degrees. The heat in my head is offset by the icepack on my chin, because autism doesn't exist in a vacuum. [translation = dental woes]
“What it is?”
“What is what dear?” If I drop a box on him by accident I will never forgive myself. I wedge the box for safety purposes and curse the idiot who designed this kitchen.
“What it is 'peculiar'?” I pause, suppress a sigh and wonder who I am going to have to hunt down and “do away with” this time? Why are people so quick to judge and condemn?
“'Peculiar' is odd, or strange, or different.”
“I am odd or strange or different?” It's not echolalic as he has changed the tone to a question. I am rapidly going off that Amendment. [translation = freedom of expression]
“Who told you that you were peculiar dear?” Why are people so quick to draw dubious conclusions?
“No, it was dah lady.”
“What woman dear?” I can tell that my milk of human kindness begins to curdle. Why are people so negative, always willing to assume the worst?
“Dah lady in dah store.”
“What woman in the store?” Maybe at the cheese counter? Why are people always ready to cast aspersions?
“Dah lady in dah store when I be having dah meltdown.”
Whilst in theory there should be sufficient information for me to be able to narrow down the field of options, unfortunately, meltdowns in store are still a frequent occurrence.
“Well, never mind what other people say or think! They don't know you one jot, nor what they're talking about!” I snap. Some people should just mind their own business. [translation = rancid Stilton]
“Me? I am peculiar?”
“Yes. Dat is what dah lady is said, er……in dah store……when I be having dah meltdown.”
Ah. So quick! Fancy him noticing that! Fancy him choosing this moment to relate the incident to me that must have been percolating away for more than a week.
“Well of course in that case,……..everyone is entitled to their own opinion, the lady was probably quite right.” How astute, I permit the Amendment to stand. [translation = by Royal Decree]